22 SES 05 D, Academic Work and Professional Development
The topic of internationalization of higher education (HE) is recurrently approached in general terms of globalization, which includes mobility of people, capital, services and goods. The quality of modern day universities is examined in relation to an external global environment. A decade ago Bartell, has argued that universities have ‘come under increasing pressures to adapt to rapidly changing social, technological, economic and political forces emanating from immediate as well as from broader post-industrial external environments’ (2003 p. 43). Marginson (2009) discusses this development in terms of status competition. Other factors are the new communication technologies, and neo-liberal political developments towards reduction in state funding, demanding universities to become more self-supporting financially (Stromquist 2002).
The political and economic forces of globalization impacts on higher education in terms of ‘market competition’ defined by knowledge generation. Transnational corporations exert power that transcends national boundaries (King, Marginson & Naidoo, 2012). Universities are now expected to operate in the ‘knowledge-based economy’ and indeed form as the generators of innovation and change. Crucial factors within this development are university rankings and recruitments of international students as a way to generate revenue for higher education institutions. The critical question remains as to how ever increasing numbers of international students in our universities translates into pedagogical quality?
Pedagogical investigations of international education documents that the rapidly escalating international education market has imposed unprecedented pedagogical demands on often unassuming but dedicated university teachers (Hellstén & Reid, 2008; Trahar, 2011). As frequently embedded in terms of the exotic appeal of travel, internationalization, with its intensive working conditions, the added pressures of ever increasing economic restructuring that drive change of curriculum, increase academic workloads, alter teaching conditions and technological advances which has left communities of international scholars seeking new ways to maintain the quality in teaching and learning in these intercultural terrains. Research in these domains recognizes the need to re-conceptualize knowledge production that involves a closer gaze on the reality of teaching and learning for international students, that engages a holistic approach nationally and locally (Knight, 2008). Contrastively, there is anxiety about the lowering of academic standards generally.
The international European community of scholars is familiar with the issues reported in the field of academic language use and critical thinking skills; failure to participate in collaborative learning modes (e.g. group discussions); and difficulties communicating effectively in group seminar settings. Disciplinary frames and dominant reasoning and pragmatic discourses that govern academic thinking in some host institutions have been under systematic scrutiny (Harman, 2005). It begs the question: - does the quality of an educational enterprise have conceptual bearing on the experiences of international study?
This presentation takes up on these central issues by providing commentary from the teaching spaces involving international communities of scholars. The aim is to tease out some of the issues raised among European scholars about what types of pedagogies are viewed as attainable in the new era of international engagement. The presentation involves the audience in a discussion about implications for the future pedagogical practice.
Bartell, M. (2003). Internationalisation of universities: A university culture-based framework. Higher Education, 45(1), 43–70. Harman, G. (2005) Internationalization of Australian Higher Education: a critical review of literature and research, in: P. Ninnes, and M. Hellstén, (eds), Internationalizing Higher Education: critical explorations of pedagogy and policy, Dordrect, NL: Springer, pp. 119-140. Hellstén, M., and Reid, A. (2008) (eds.), Researching International Pedagogies: sustainable practice for teaching and learning in higher education, Dordrecht, NL: Springer. King, R. Marginson S. & Naidoo R. (eds). 2012. Handbook on Globalization and Higher Education. Edward Elgar Publishing. Knight, J. 2005, ‘Cross-border education: an analytical framework for program and provider mobility’, in J. Smart and W. Tierney (eds), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Practice, Springer, Dordrecht. Marginson, S. (2009). Open source knowledge and university rankings. Thesis Eleven, 96, 9–39. Stromqvist, N. (2002). Education in a Globalized World. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Trahar, S. (2011). Developing Cultural Capability in International Higher Education: a Narrative Inquiry. London: Routledge.
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